The opposite is true as well. Too many negative emotions create stress in our mind and body which disrupts this special messaging from happening, and weakens digestion and immunity.
(Another reason why its so important to find calm and peace before eating!)
So no matter what shape your gut or health is in, a little gratitude can make it better because…
Gratitude puts us at ease and so aids digestion!
SO what gets in the way of this simple practice?
I look at authentically religious men and women, and I notice that their gratitude seems to flow effortlessly from them. Why do you think this is?
💗 Note to Self: I am grateful my life is full of looking after those I love 💗
So the solution here is to make time to step out of the hustle to just BE and FEEL.
And if we want to be kind to our gut, start simply with giving thanks before your meals. Just think about how that food came to be on your plate!
All the sun, water and soil required.
The people who grew it, harvested it, shipped it, stocked it.
The materials for the pan you cooked in or the plate you’re eating off of.
There is a lot of effort put into each morsel of food you are about to consume. Let's give thanks to the Creator and everyone involved in getting it to us.
Because our gratefulness sends an "all is well" signal from our brain through the vagus nerve to our digestive tract, and that’s going to help you feel balanced, happy and healthy.
And who wouldn’t be grateful for that?!
Happy Thanksgiving, my American friends! And for rest of us, let’s be grateful that we can relax this weekend 😊
And if you are FEELING LESS THAN GRATEFUL, check-in... do you need a quiet retreat to re-charge and re-focus? Check out my retreat which combines nutrition, yoga and dance to renew your spirit, reboot your gut, and revitalize your body! I am offering a GRATITUDE SPECIAL (U$300 value) for February's Vitality Renewal Retreat that runs UNTIL SUNDAY, DEC 1. Grab it here!
Last week, I mentioned that during a recent crisis, I had no time or energy to uphold the standards of my specialized diet. But by giving it up, I learned that:
Well, there’s the first secret –>
HOW we feed ourselves is AS important as WHAT we eat!
Take note. We are talking about a seriously effective gut hack here and for once, we are NOT TALKING ABOUT FOOD! Yippee! (This would a great place for back flip emojis, ha ha)
And now let’s recall how our digestive system works best – that’s right – under the governance of the parasympathetic nervous system. IE: relaxed.
Good digestion - regardless of what we are eating – requires some serenading, a warm-up if you will.
If we are constantly on the go – in mind or body – and not paying attention to how we eat, our brain does not register "RELAX" and so our organs are not prepared for food to arrive.
Unprepared organs = bloating, gas, heartburn, stomach aches, nausea, etc
So, here is how you set yourself up for good digestion when under pressure or on the run:
2. Take a Pill
If you can’t calm down, taking digestive enzymes with your meals helps break down food in your stomach and intestine, therefore reducing gas, bloating and stomach aches as a minimum. This is the product I recommend most often.
3. Count to 10, 20 or….
Try observing how many times you chew each bite. The more your chew, the more you coat your food in alkalizing saliva – the most critical step for the rest of the digestive process!
So, if you are always stressed – or just always on the go – try one or more of these steps. You'll:
Learn more in the It Takes Guts Community Facebook group or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
In my last post, I was telling you that during a long crisis, I had to take deliberate steps to protect and support my gut – because I couldn’t uphold the standards of my specialized diet anymore.
I told you that this is when I figured out that HOW we feed our body is just as important as WHAT we feed our body, and that TARGETING specific foods was more effective than ELIMINATING foods.
This is because our health depends upon a fully functioning digestive system – and digestion is very disrupted by stress. Here’s how:
1. When our brain registers fear of any kind - a bear on the trail, or angry words with your boss or friend - it triggers our flight or fight response through the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This shunts blood to our heart and brain and away from our gut. It is meant to be a short lived response but these days we are often enduring ongoing fearful/stressful situations.
2. Good digestion depends upon a relaxed state of mind and body – our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) needs to be engaged so our digestive organs can do their jobs secreting digestive fluids, moving food along at the right pace and keeping our gut bacteria happy.
So as you can see, if we’re constantly worried, fearful, angry and stressed – our gut is not functioning properly.
This leads to gas, bloating, food intolerances, cravings, diarrhea, constipation, and more.
But again I say - don’t despair! Remember, I was in crisis for years, and I figured out how to nourish and support my gut through those stressful times without a specialized diet.
Now that I’ve introduced to you how and why stress affects digestion, I’m going to give you first step to take to help your gut in the next email, so stay tuned.
BUT FOR TODAY – I want you to mentally turn on your lightbulb of awareness and ask yourself:
What is happening on a daily basis that is causing me stress, fear, anger or despair? OR what stress took place prior to the onset of my health problems?
Take note. It's more important than you may realize. You'll understand why in the posts to come.
P.S. Want to share your AHA moments with me? Send me a note and share a personal find if you like. Oh, and don't forget you can always learn more from me and others - everyday - in the It Takes Guts Community Facebook group.
I received so many responses to my last post that I want to follow up with some helpful advice.
Hey, I've been there. Ten years ago, I had two babies under 2, I was busy, exhausted, overwhelmed and really, really sick. Everyday. No one had any answers for me so I set out to find out myself.
A few years later, after school and healing myself and a number of others, I had it all figured out... but then there was a hiccup - a crisis that put everything I knew about gut healing into question!
The crisis meant I had no time or energy to uphold the standards of my specialized diet. But by giving it up, I learned that:
Why? Because it is HOW our digestive system is working (or not) that determines whether we are nourished or poisoned by our food - basically, if we thrive and heal or succumb to disease.
And our health is reliant on both good digestion and good gut bacteria... and both are totally, unequivocally disrupted by STRESS :(
Now I was under a lot of stress at this time, and I knew that it would screw up my gut function, so I took very DELIBERATE SIMPLE STEPS TO PROTECT AND SUPPORT my gut - and they worked!
Wanna know what they were?
Well, stay tuned, cuz I'm going to share them with you in the next few weeks.
I just want you to know... to give you hope... that there are SO many steps you can take to begin healing the gut that aren't complicated or require massive change.
Yes, specialized diets are helpful - I'm not discrediting them - but they are also difficult to implement and maintain inside a hectic life, and they just are not doable for many people.
I'm here to show you another way. You CAN confidently start the healing journey with very simple steps that are incredibly helpful, sometimes without even changing what you eat!
So stick with me. I'm going to show you how it can be done. And it doesn't have to hurt your brain or complicate your life. I can't wait to share with you how!
With love for your gut,
PS Tell me in the comments below WHAT FRUSTRATES YOU THE MOST about your gut or diet right now? I'll address them in the next few articles.
Oh, and don't forget you can always learn more from me and others - everyday - in the It Takes Guts Community Facebook group! (and it's free!)
Do you ever wonder if your health problems stem from a gut problem or something else?
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a woman who told me that she was so sick of feeling tired all the time. She woke up tired. She was tired after coffee. She was tired after eating.
She was too tired to exercise.
She was tired of health magazines because she was too tired to cook.
She was especially tired of sinking into the couch at the end of the day, totally defeated and depressed, and eating crap she knows she shouldn’t eat.
I offered her some help, but she didn’t think she had any "stomach problems".
Well, after assessing her, it turns out she had MANY digestive problems - just not the typical ones that people associate with the gut.
Fatigue can have many causes, but it is definitely linked to what you eat and how you digest it.
Knowing she had digestive problems was a great AID to her, because then she knew what to work on. For example, low stomach acid was preventing her from breaking down protein and absorbing iron – two essential nutrients for energy production.
After just four weeks of working together, she started waking up with energy, feeling more positive at work, and feeling inspired to go walking everyday.
Many steps in the right direction.
So I decided to put this little chart together to help you decide if your symptoms might be related to digestive problems. See anything that relates to YOU?
Hit reply and tell me about it, or join us in the It Takes Guts Community group as we discuss what it means and what to do about it.
With love for your gut,
It Takes Guts Nutrition
Katanne Belisle RHN
Gut Health Specialist
Whitehorse, YT, CAN
What Clients Are Saying
"I was plagued by a myriad of digestive and inflammatory issues and after months of discomfort I was fortunate enough to meet Katanne. Her insight, intuition, knowledge and caring attention has made it possible for me to heal and thrive with a new understanding of the food I eat. I am now healthier, happier and have more energy than I have had in quite some time. " ~ Steve T.
"Katanne gives well balanced information versed in first hand experience and research. After seeing various health professionals over the years, doing my own research, trials and tribulations, I can (say) that this is the real deal, and that what she provides people is a holistic, realistic approach to healing oneself through food" ~ Elizabeth G.